Human Shrapnel Machine
North End Halifax punk / power-pop act Outtacontroller has announced their next release. The band will be issuing an EP titled No Echo through Madrid-based label Jarama 45RPM Recs at some point the near future.
The release, which follows up 2015's P-Trash LP Television Zombie, was recorded by Charles Austin and James O'Toole at the band's neighbourhood studio Echo Chamber Audio. A teaser video featuring a handful of song clips can be found at YouTube now. One of those clips is of the track "Prime Time," which the band shared in full late last year (and you can hear again below). Outtacontroller's sound would fit right in on the Pacific Northwest alongside bands like The Briefs from Seattle and Portland's Mean Jeans.
Loud, low-fi, scuzzy Toronto punk act Protruders has released yet another cassette and, true to form, are sharing just the unsegmented A and B-sides online. The palindromic new release is titled PROTRUDERSREDURTORP, which they're clearly never expecting a human to have to say aloud. The A-side was recorded this fall, with the inverse featuring material recorded live to air this past summer on Calgary's CJSW. Each session apparently features a few different guests, but I'm not about to decipher the nicknames in the credits. The details are at BandCamp if you want to give it a shot.
Protruders is the successor project to Kappa Chow and features that band's brain trust of Joe and Isle, who relocated to Toronto from the Sackville. The group also counts Jarrett Samson of Tough Age among its roster.
Daniel Romano's tournée infinite is getting ready to return home from Europe and Canadian shows are on the horizon. The eclectic and prolific singer/songwriter will take his live band, currently dubbed the Jazz Police, through Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver in January. Before that, Dan's power-pop side-project Ancient Shapes will play TV Freaks' New Year's Eve show in Hamilton along with fellow Attack In Black alumnus Ian Daniel Kehoe.
The latest video from Romano's Polaris long-listed Modern Pressure is also online. "Fake Love Songs" was directed by Cotey Pope and shot on 16mm film in Sackville this past summer. That's Romano's bandmate Kay Berkel on the rollerskates...
Modern Pressure was also recently written up in Off Your Radar, which features over a dozen music writers collectively discussing the album. I'm not in the habit of sharing reviews here, but this one is pretty damn substantive.
Indigenous DJ group A Tribe Called Red may be down a member but that's not putting the breaks on promotions for their excellent LP We Are The Halluci Nation. The Polaris nominated record featured collaborations with a number of artists, including the Prize's eventual winner Lido Pimienta. Their track, "The Light Part. II," now has a video, which Pimienta directed and had shot on location in Santiago, Chile. It features a number of local Chilean artists as well (check the credits on YouTube, which Tribe thankfully always makes fairly comprehensive).
Andrew Payne's new electronic music project Vanity Phase continues to trade in the weird. The Century Palm / Zebrassieres lead has released a fall-themed video for "Move On," which like his previous song draws a very unclear line between serious performance art and weird absurdity. This one was filmed by Kristina Smith. That's of course Payne licking leaves in a leaf suit...
Don't forget that if you want to see Payne's new wave / post-punk act Century Palm before they split up, Friday, December 1 at the Smiling Buddha will be your last chance.
Toronto's First Base has returned with the follow up to their self-titled debut (from all the way back in 2013). The new record, titled Not That Bad, is coming out this Friday on Drunken Sailor Records (which, for a UK label, has Canada covered coast to coast with recent punk records from the Booji Boys, Corner Boys, and Cheap Whine).
Not That Bad feels pretty consistent with the earlier First Base material, which pairs Ramones-core punk with Beach Boys harmonies (their early single on Hosehead was a straight-up homage to the `77-era Northern Irish punk band Rudi, who took a similar approach). If you were into that 90s Lookout Records sound (the Queers, The Mr. T Experience) you should also find a lot to bop to here.
If you're in Ontario or Quebec you can expect to see some shows pairing First Base and Vancouver's Corner Boys in the spring. I don't think any dates have been announced yet, so stay tuned.
If you're into First Base, then Ottawa's Riptides are mining a similar vein. The band, fresh off their 2017 full-length Canadian Graffiti, have announced a new limited edition 7" single for the song "Wimpy Goes to Washington," which is a reference to Jack Hayes (a.k.a. Wimpy Rutherford) of the aforementioned Queers. That track, paired with the crassly-named B-side "I Fucked Her At Tim Horton's" is coming out on December 15 via Something to Do Records.
Both songs were recorded and produced by Mass Giorgini at Sonic Iguana Studios during the Canadian Graffiti sessions. The Timmys song is exclusive to vinyl, with no plans to release it digitally or anywhere else. The EP is limited to 300 copies and features art from Jake Sauer. Both songs also feature lead guitar from Mr. Precision of 88 Fingers Louie and Rise Against fame.
Last week I shared the new single from the revitalized Toronto garage-rock act Bad River, and this past week I had the pleasure of premiering the video for that track at Punknews. The clip for the grungy number features lead singer Thom Huhtala on a druggy adventure with a cartoon dog and cockroach. The animated bits of the video were created by artist Nick Coyle.
"Clean Air" is set to be the lead song on an EP of the same name. The record will debut on November 29 with a release show at the Smiling Buddha featuring Neon Wave and Parks at Night supporting. The new material was engineered and mastered by Simon Larochette at The Sugar Shack in London, Ontario. It's the band's first material since 2015's Mouth and a complete turnover in Huhtala's bandmates.
Victoria, BC punk band No Liars have recorded their first full length with Jesse Gander of Rain City Recorders (Japandroids, White Lung, Woolworm). It'll carry the titled The Cause & The Cure and will arrive in stores in early 2018. Joao Carvalho (Alexisonfire, Arkells, Silverstein, Protest the Hero) mastered the album. You can check out a video for "Animal," the first single from the new set, below. Compared to every other punk band I've mentioned this week, this one takes the most modern approach. Your mileage might vary depending where you land on that spectrum.
Recipe For Hate Contest
Warren Kinsella's a fascinating and polarizing personality. A member of the late-70s Calgary punk band The Hot Nasties, Warren's adult life landed him in the corridors of power, where he most famously served as a strategist for the Liberal Party during Jean Chrétien's successful campaigns. Once described by a detractor as a "human shrapnel machine," Kinsella's brought a combative, wry sense of the counterculture into the upper echelons of Canadian politics.
This fall the Toronto-based author, lawyer, and consultant has two projects simultaneously coming to light: a new young adult novel titled Recipe For Hate, and a new album from his band Shit From Hell, titled SFH Kinda Suck. I've got copies of both available to give away. You can enter now and I'll be drawing winners in a few weeks.
Kinsella's previous books have included Unholy Alliances, the national bestseller Web of Hate: Inside Canada’s Far Right Network, the bestselling novel Party Favours, Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics, and Fury’s Hour: A (Sort-of) Punk Manifesto. This new novel picks up on the themes of both his non-fiction and musical background:
How a group of Portland, Maine, punks defeated a murderous gang of neo-Nazis.
The X Gang is a group of punks led by the scarred, silent, and mostly unreadable Christopher X. His best friend, Kurt Blank, is a hulking and talented punk guitarist living in the closet. Sisters Patti and Betty Upchuck form the core of the feminist Punk Rock Virgins band, and are the closest to X and Kurt. Assorted hangers-on and young upstarts fill out the X Gang’s orbit: the Hot Nasties, the Social Blemishes, and even the legendary Joe Strummer of the Clash. Together, they’ve all but taken over Gary’s, an old biker bar. Then over one dark weekend, a bloody crime nearly brings it all to an end.
Based on real events, Warren Kinsella tells the story of the X Gang’s punk lives — the community hall gigs, the antiracism rallies, the fanzines and poetry and art, and what happened after the brutal murders of two of their friends.
Given the state of the world that feels pretty pertinent.